Bromelain
Bromelain

Background

Bromelain is a type of enzyme called a proteolytic enzyme. It is found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem.

Bromelain causes the body to make substances that fight pain and swelling. Bromelain also contains chemicals that seem to interfere with tumor cells and slow blood clotting.

People use bromelain for muscle soreness, pain, burns, kidney stones, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse bromelain with other proteolytic enzymes (proteases), such as chymotrypsin, ficin, papain, serrapeptase, or trypsin. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Bromelain is possibly safe for most people. Doses of up to 240 mg daily have been used safely for up to one year. Bromelain might cause some side effects, including diarrhea and stomach upset.

When applied to the skin: Bromelain is possibly safe. It might cause allergic reactions in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bromelain is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergies: People with other allergies might also be allergic to bromelain. Use cautiously if you are allergic to pineapple, latex, ragweed, Echinacea, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, wheat, celery, papain, carrot, fennel, cypress pollen, grass pollen, or other plants.

Surgery: Bromelain might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using bromelain at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using bromelain for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Bromelain has most often been used by adults in doses of 40-400 mg by mouth daily for up to 13 months. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Taking bromelain might increase how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking bromelain along with some antibiotics called tetracyclines might increase the effects and side effects of these antibiotics.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Bromelain might slow blood clotting. Taking bromelain along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Bromelain might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.
Zinc: Metals such as zinc might slow down the activity of bromelain in the body. But this isn't likely to be a big concern.

Interactions with foods

Taking bromelain after eating potato or soy might slow down bromelain's effects in the body.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 31/07/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 20/06/2018 21:08:31. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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